Compressed air is present throughout the production of pharmaceutical products. Since compressed air is a necessary utility for pharmaceutical production, it’s important that plant personnel understand the impact of compressed air quality on their products. Often the compressed air is coming into direct contact with the products, so if there are contaminants in the compressed air, it can potentially contaminate the product, leading to costly quality issues.
Oil-lubricated compressors have a lot of oil in liquid and vapor form in the compressed air output. By using extensive filtration systems, it is possible to remove most of the oil in the compressed air from oil-lubricated compressors, but the only way to have 100% oil-free compressed air is with an oil-free compressor.
Another consideration when deciding whether to use oil-lubricated vs. oil free compressors is recurring maintenance and energy cost. With oil-lubricated compressors, each filter stage introduces reduces the air pressure, which means the compressor has to run at a higher pressure to get the required minimum pressure in the plant. This results in higher energy costs as every 2 psi increase in air pressure increases energy costs by 1%. Maintenance costs are higher for oil-lubricated compressors for 2 primary reasons – One, the additional filters require frequent filter element changes; and two, the compressors typically contain 3 to 4 times the amount of oil in the machine that has to be changed on a regular basis. Both of these factors can lead to considerably higher maintenance costs for oil-lubricated compressors in comparison to oil-free.
Scales Industrial Technologies can offer expert advice concerning all potential solutions for pharmaceutical plants and help determine the best solution for your plant.
Below are a few of the oil free compressors that we carry:
Quincy QOF Series Oil-Free Scroll Compressors (2-30HP)
The QOF series of air compressors has a number of benefits over a conventional air compressor. This line from Quincy works to save energy by using IE3 Premium Efficiency Motors, as well as start stop control that could not be more simple to make use of.
In addition to energy savings, Scroll technology offers the lowest available noise levels of any compressor type, with dB ratings as low as 53dB(a). Because of the low noise, it is environmentally safe to employees to work in the same room as the compressor, perfect for installations where a dedicated compressor room is not available.
WisAir Series Oil-Free Water Injected Screw Compressors (20-75HP)
This series of oil-free units from WisAir pulls out multiple stops to not only cut out the contaminants in the compressed air while also including more added benefits to reduce operating costs as well. Their direct driven no-loss drivetrains gets paired with their full color, energy saving controller as well as their Soft Start technology for an easy to operate package that will perform for years to come.
KOBELCO KNW Series Oil-Free Screw Compressors (20-500HP)
The KOBELCO KNW Series is another viable option when looking for an oil-free compressor solution. Among the benefits to this machine is the Class Zero rating for meeting the ISO sanitation standards. These KNW compressors also come with coated rotors that reduce wear and corrosion as well as a unique oiling system that lubricates before during and after running the air compressor.
In short, multiple industries rely on the total purity that is offered with oil-free air compressors. From the production of food, medical devices, medicine, and so much more, compressed air must be clean and free of all foreign objects, even on the microscopic level.
Take a look at Scales Oil-Free compressor offerings, and don’t hesitate to call with any questions about which setup is the right one for your application.